I know that I have written a blog post about my anxiety before, but I actually wrote this post during the mental health awareness week but for some reason just couldn’t bring myself to post it. This isn’t an in-depth post of me telling you how to handle your anxiety or how to overcome it, this is just me sharing my thoughts and experiences because I know that the younger Katharine would have really needed to read something likes this many years ago.
so here it goes.
Growing up I always felt a little bit different to everyone else, a lot of the friends I grew up with always shared the same carefree attitude I longed to have, nothing seemed to worry them never mind stress them out, where I was the complete opposite. I would worry about certain things that I really had no business worrying about, and I suppose its a good thing to a certain extent, to be careful and maybe there are certain things that you should worry about, but not to the extent I did. As the years passed it never got better and it got worse before it got better, I remember being about 17 and the very thought of being on my own even in my own house would make me feel completely suffocated I couldn’t handle being on my own and I didn’t understand why I would drive myself insane trying to figure out what was wrong with me, why did I feel this way about myself? t I was suffering from Anxiety and didn’t even know it.
I was scared because I didn’t understand what was wrong with me, why did I feel this way? why me? was I insane? Back then mental health wasn’t as spoken about as it is today and for one am so so happy that everyone is so open with their stories and experiences because it helps people every single day and I know that the younger me would have benefitted greatly from reading the things online that I see today. Back when I was 17 and experiencing the first signs of anxiety I was too scared to even tell my own mum how I felt in fear that I really was crazy, stupid I know but I was young and scared.
Fast forward to 2016 and my anxiety was at its highest, my brain constantly doing overtime overthinking, worried and scared. Of what? I really couldn’t begin to tell you, you name it, it probably worried me. It’s like my own brain would come up with multiple scenarios of a situation and sometimes this situation might of not even occurred yet. IT WAS EXHAUSTING. Then just like that as if by magic I saw my first post online talking about Anxiety and it was actually a post from Zoella back then I wasn’t really a huge fan of hers I mean I liked her and knew of her but I wasn’t a religious watcher or reader of her content.
She was speaking about her progression of her anxiety and the more I read the more I related, I then found myself googling for articles or youtube videos on anxiety and I finally felt like I wasn’t alone, it was the most comforting feeling I think I have ever felt just purely because I finally knew I wasn’t mad or stupid for feeling the way that I felt. Was this what I was experiencing?
Once I had done a bit of research I then felt confident to ask my mum about Anxiety, was it normal? does it happen to everyone? after speaking to my mum about it even though not fully prepared to tell her how I felt I already felt like a weight lifted off my shoulders, I wasn’t alone.
From then to now, I’ve managed to handle my anxiety a lot better then I used to, with so much awareness about mental health its spoken about everywhere, on the television, the radio, even on my breaks at work it comes up in conversation and people are now so open to sharing experiences and are actually there to listen because it is now more understood then it was years ago.
I”ve had conversations with good friends about their past experiences and couldn’t believe that people that I have been close to for so many years were at rock bottom once, people I look at as strong confident people and would never even dream that the same thing was happening to them. But that’s the thing isn’t it mental health is like a virus you cant see it, people with mental health always seem happy confident people.
A little while back my boyfriend used to joke with me all the time that I was cocky and too confident sometimes would even call me big headed. But please believe me I’m not when I really had a chance to sit down and think about it, that was kind of like my act, my fake self to prove that I was ( insert ross from friends voice) “Fine” But I was struggling inside with who I was and that was my act to make sure no one would notice, I didn’t care if anyone thought I was a bitch as long as no one saw what was really going on.
But fast forward to now my anxiety is now better handled because I can deal with it better, I use calming techniques when I feel myself getting nervous or anxious, breathing techniques and music that I can listen to, to calm me down. And most importantly people I can speak to. Don’t get me wrong I still have days where I don’t want to speak to anyone at all and I would much rather stay in bed and do absolutely nothing, but I will always try my hardest to fight it. I still to this day can’t step foot into a nightclub without a 1000 thoughts running through my mind things that are so stupid but I just can’t help it, nightclubs aren’t my thing and I have accepted that I and my anxiety are probably never going to accept it. I still get sick to my stomach when going anywhere that I know there will be crowds of people and flying is something I’m getting better at every time i do it, a few years ago I was standing at the steps of the plane crying my eyes out looking like a crazy woman because it felt like a physically couldn’t step on to the plane, but I did it and now at the end of the year I’m doing my first long-haul flight in 7 years!
The more that time progresses I am trying to challenge myself push myself to step out of my comfort zone and do more things that 5 years ago I wouldn’t have even wanted to think about, I am now more confident as a person but in a good way.
I know my anxiety is a part of who I am and I’ve accepted that now but I will not let it define who I am, I am not my anxiety, and every time I hear the voice in the back of my head telling me I cant do something I tell it to watch me. We have grown so much and now understand mental health more than we ever have in the past, never feel afraid to open up and speak to someone about it. On two occasions when I was feeling my absolute worse I spoke to someone about it and both times I felt like a weight was lifted off my shoulders. So many people feel the same way as you, you really aren’t alone. And never apologize for being who you are.
Life can be difficult and when you are stuck battling with your own mind it can feel like you are all alone and sometimes you can’t stop the tears from flowing and your heart from racing but breath and tell yourself you are going to be ok. So many people feel the same way as you do YOU ARE NOT ALONE. If you are having a shit day TELL SOMEONE. If you are feeling anxious even if you have no idea why TELL SOMEONE. Don’t suffer in silence because you think no one will understand or you will be misunderstood. You are not your mental health. You are strong and wonderful and don’t let it define who you are.
Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go They merely determine where you start – Nido Qubein